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  • Slovakia to hold referendum on same-sex marriage

    11/27/2014 11:44:03 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Nov 27, 2014 12:03 PM EST
    Slovakia will hold a referendum on same-sex marriage in the predominantly Roman Catholic country on Feb. 7, the president said Thursday. President Andrej Kiska’s move comes after the Alliance for Family conservative group gathered about 400,000 signatures supporting the vote. Slovaks will be asked whether they agree that a marriage can be called only a union between a man and a woman, same-sex partners can’t adopt children, and that children wouldn’t have to attend school classes on sex education if their parents don't agree with them. …
  • One in three law students backs death penalty (in Germany)

    11/26/2014 11:32:13 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 26 Nov 2014 10:57 GMT+01:00 | (DPA/The Local)
    A decades-long study has found that budding lawyers are increasingly in favor of harsher punishments. Professor Franz Streng at the University of Erlangen in Bavaria asked his first-year law students the same set of questions every year from 1989 to 2012. “At the beginning of their studies, they’ve still only had their opinions formed by school, their parents and the media,” Streng said. He found that despite the young people feeling less at risk from crime from year to year, they became more and more positive about harsher punishments for criminals. …
  • Germany, EU charged with Google-bashing

    11/26/2014 11:18:14 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 26 Nov 2014 12:42 GMT+01:00 | Tom Barfield
    Germany is at the heart of moves to limit the power of US web companies and their involvement in surveillance as American voices cry foul. Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy, said on Tuesday evening that the EU is not trying to smash Google apart in response to open letters from US politicians. Although a years-long competition probe into Google’s activities in areas like maps and price comparisons as well as hotel and restaurant reviews might end by imposing restrictions on the search giant, these would be “proportionate and targeted,” Oettinger said. And he told economic journalist Roland...
  • German FM: Iran nuclear talks ‘completely open’

    11/24/2014 8:57:43 AM PST · by Olog-hai
    TheLocal.de ^ | 23 Nov 2014 08:51 GMT+01:00 | (AFP)
    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Saturday that the outcome of Iran’s nuclear talks with six world powers was “completely open”. Despite huge gaps in the negotiations, “we have never been closer in more than 10 years,” Steinmeier said as he joined the talks in Vienna. “If Iran is ready to take this opportunity, then movement is possible … Whether we can get a result is right now completely open,” he said. …
  • Police arrest man over Russia-proof bunker (Kelheim, Bavaria)

    11/24/2014 8:45:58 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 11 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 21 Nov 2014 15:59 GMT+01:00 | (AFP)
    Police in Kelheim said on Friday they had arrested a man who hoarded guns, ammunition and bomb-making material in a nuclear-proof family bunker he built fearing an attack by Russia. The 59-year-old electrician had constructed the emergency shelter by expanding and reinforcing the basement of his family home in the small town near Regensburg in Bavaria. Police said they had confiscated two submachine guns, 80 rifles, 60 handguns, 20,000 rounds of ammunition and 40 kilograms of materials to make explosives. …
  • The EU has a plan to break up Google

    11/23/2014 11:58:38 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 15 replies
    The Verge ^ | November 21, 2014 02:48 pm | Ben Popper
    Google has been the target of repeated anti-trust scrutiny in Europe over the last decade. Today’s Financial Times is reporting that the European parliament is on the verge of taking even more drastic steps, preparing a plan that would call for the breakup of the search giant, specifically the “unbundling [of] search engines from other commercial services.” […] When asked by Financial Times why a drastic measure like a breakup was necessary, Ramon Tremosa, a Spanish member of the EU parliment who sponsored the motion, said the commission could not “ask the secret of [Google’s] algorithm” and was seeking other...
  • As their leaders spar with Russia, Poles press for a bit of pragmatism

    11/23/2014 5:54:09 AM PST · by wetphoenix · 4 replies
    Poland and Russia expelled each other's diplomats this week and canceled cultural exchanges. But many Poles, driven by longstanding ties as well as business interests, want more dialogue. Will the new PM deliver? Anyone who has been listening to the Polish government this year would think Poles want nothing to do with Russia. Just this week, Russia said several of its diplomats were expelled from Poland, and in return, Polish diplomats were asked to leave Moscow. The Polish government cancelled a series of cultural events that were to be held next year to celebrate ties between the two nations, and...
  • Polish town opposes Pooh Bear for unclear gender

    11/22/2014 10:22:54 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 40 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Nov 22, 2014 2:26 AM EST
    Officials in a Polish town (Tuszyn) have opposed a proposition to name a playground after Winnie-the-Pooh due to the bear’s unclear gender and immodest clothing. […] Voice recordings of the meeting were leaked to the media in which officials complained that Pooh Bear is immodestly dressed and also lacks a clear gender. One called the bear a “hermaphrodite.” …
  • EU parliament to vote on Palestine statehood

    11/21/2014 7:33:53 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 14 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 21.11.14 @ 18:12 | Andrew Rettman
    The European Parliament will next Thursday (27 November) add its voice to the debate on whether EU states should recognize Palestine. The motion was initiated at the 11th hour by the left-wing GUE and S&D groups in the EU assembly. It is too early to say what the final text of the resolution will propose. The GUE group’s draft text “urges all EU member states … to recognize the State of Palestine on the basis of the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital”. …
  • Death Threats Against Swedish Rabbi after Jerusalem Massacre

    11/21/2014 2:07:53 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    INN ^ | 11/21/2014, 11:07 AM | Ari Yashar
    In the wake of the horrific terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue this Tuesday, the rabbi of the Jewish community in Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden, has received deaths threats to burn down his synagogue—with him inside of it. Rabbi Hillel Ḥayyim Lavery-Yisraëli made aliyah (immigration) to Israel at the age of 19 from Canada. After graduating the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, he has served as Gothenburg’s rabbi since 2012. The married father of four serves in the city’s Great Synagogue, which was built in 1865 and is the oldest in the country, and which has now...
  • China unexpectedly cuts rates to support economy

    11/21/2014 11:07:52 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Nov 21, 2014 12:24 PM EST | Joe McDonald
    China’s central bank unexpectedly slashed interest rates on Friday to re-energize the world’s No. 2 economy, joining a growing list of major economies that are trying to encourage growth in the face of a global slowdown. On top of the rate cut, Chinese authorities promised to inject credit into the financial system if needed. Meanwhile, the president of the European Central Bank said Friday he was ready to step up stimulus for the 18-country eurozone economy, whose performance continues to disappoint. And Japan’s government this week delayed a tax increase after the country slipped back into recession. News of China’s...
  • Anti-Semitism in Germany On the Rise, Survey Finds

    11/21/2014 12:07:24 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 23 replies
    INN ^ | 11/21/2014, 6:16 AM | Ben Ariel
    German anti-Semitism and resentment towards Israel have risen sharply in recent months, a new survey has found. More than one in four respondents in the new poll equated the Jewish state’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs to Nazi persecution of Jews during World War Two, Reuters reported on Thursday. The bi-annual survey on xenophobia in Germany by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation showed broad measures of anti-Semitism on the decline over the past decade. However, it also showed a spike in negative views towards Israel and Jews in general between June and September, coinciding with the conflict between Israel and Hamas in...
  • Northern Ireland anti-abortion activist convicted

    11/19/2014 10:06:22 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Nov 19, 2014 10:53 AM EST | Shawn Pogatchnik
    Northern Ireland’s most prominent anti-abortion activist was convicted Wednesday of harassing the director of Belfast’s only abortion clinic in the latest chapter of a bitter two-year confrontation. Bernadette Smyth, leader of the Precious Life group, was convicted on two counts of threatening Dawn Purvis, who runs British family planning service Marie Stopes’ Belfast branch. It is the only such clinic on the island of Ireland, where abortion is legal only in extreme cases where a woman’s life is deemed at risk from her pregnancy. …
  • Is Hungary The Next Ukraine? Protests Show Country Ripe For Conflict Between Russia And Europe

    11/19/2014 12:15:10 AM PST · by wetphoenix · 15 replies
    IBT ^ | November 18 2014 4:40 PM | Dennis Lynch
    A protest movement in Hungary over corruption and an increasingly pro-Russian leadership broke out this week,raising questions about whether the former communist nation is on the verge of becoming the next Ukraine. Hungary is more stable than Ukraine, which has been besieged by sectarian conflict for months, and seems less likely to fall into violent conflict,but growing anti-government demonstrations could become another battleground between Europe and Russia. The wave of Hungarian protests is focused on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s increasingly pro-Russian governance. Many shouted “Europe,Europe!” at Monday’s “Public Outrage Day” protest and one protester told AFP demonstrators "don’t want...
  • Dutch admit prepping for eurozone breakup in 2012

    11/18/2014 9:47:34 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Nov 18, 2014 11:53 AM EST
    Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has acknowledged that the Dutch government drew up plans for what to do if the single European currency had collapsed during the summer of 2012. In an interview with RTL television on Tuesday, Dijsselbloem said there was a plan to return to the Dutch guilder in a worst-case scenario. …
  • Mogherini makes light of leaked EU paper on Israel sanctions

    11/18/2014 8:32:58 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 4 replies
    EUObserver ^ | Today @ 09:28 | http://euobserver.com/foreign/126558
    BRUSSELS - Europe’s new foreign relations chief has denied the EU is in talks on Israel sanctions, despite a leaked paper on the issue. Federica Mogherini, who chaired her first foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Monday (17 November), told press the leaked paper is a “technical working hypothesis” which “member states requested” when her predecessor was in office. She added: “It is not at the heart of today’s discussions on how to start a positive process with the Israelis and Palestinians. There’s currently no question of sanctioning anybody. The question is rather how to motivate people to … restart...
  • On anniversary of toppling Moscow's rule, Czechs fear back-sliding

    11/16/2014 5:48:26 PM PST · by wetphoenix · 17 replies
    Reuters ^ | Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:06am GMT | Jan Lopatka
    PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czechs who helped bring about the "Velvet Revolution" that overthrew Kremlin-backed Communist rule are marking the 25th anniversary this week by accusing the country's present-day leaders of once again cosying up to Russia.
  • Why the Germans forgive the Russian behaviour

    11/16/2014 6:06:53 AM PST · by wetphoenix · 9 replies
    Die Welt ^ | Jacques Schuster
    In the East Ukraine the fights become more violent again. President Vladimir Putin of Russia is trying to brings down the West. Many Germans are still on his side – partly from a bad tradition. It is strange how strongly the Russian picture in the Germans is marked by the fantasy and projection and how little it deals with the reality. There the respect comes, maybe even the fear of the size of the Russian empire and the raw language of her politics. The power-deprived Germans are afraid to project power and forgot the words of the real politics. These...
  • Accused war criminal Seselj draws thousands at Serbia rally

    11/15/2014 7:48:22 PM PST · by wetphoenix · 4 replies
    AFP via Yahoo! ^ | Jovan Matic
    Belgrade (AFP) - Some 10,000 supporters of the Serb ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj, released by a UN war crimes court for cancer therapy, joined him Saturday at a rally in protest at his country's shift towards Europe. The gathering was seen as a test of Seselj's influence at home, where he returned this week after almost 12 years in detention at the court in The Hague, yet to issue a verdict in his trial for crimes during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. "Serbia has to decide should it go towards the East (Russia) or towards the West, where all its...
  • British PM: ‘Root Cause’ of Terror Is ‘Extremist Narrative,’ Not Poverty, Foreign Policy

    11/14/2014 10:08:18 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | November 14, 2014 - 4:24 AM | Patrick Goodenough
    The “root cause” of terrorism is not poverty, marginalization or Western nations’ foreign policy, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday, but an “extremist narrative” that must be confronted. Addressing the Australian federal parliament in Canberra, Cameron announced new measures that are being put in place in Britain to prevent jihadists from returning to the country from Middle East conflict zones and to stop suspected foreign fighters from leaving in the first place. He contested the argument that issues like poverty and deprivation, or unhappiness with foreign policy, are fueling Islamist terrorism. …
  • Spain to Vote on Recognition of ‘Palestine’ (another ‘non-binding resolution’)

    11/13/2014 11:02:34 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    INN ^ | 11/14/2014, 3:12 AM | Ben Ariel
    Spain is following in the footsteps of several other European countries, and its parliament plans to hold a vote next week on a resolution to recognize a Palestinian state, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Thursday. The non-binding, largely symbolic resolution, presented by the Socialist opposition party, will be debated in parliament on Tuesday, and it appears the governing conservatives will support it. It would follow moves in other European countries intended to increase pressure for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict. …
  • Sir John Major tells Germans: Britain has a 50-50 chance of quitting EU

    11/13/2014 7:52:24 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 5:30PM GMT 13 Nov 2014 | Christopher Hope
    Britain has just a 50-50 chance of remaining in the European Union, Sir John Major has warned, saying that opposition to continued membership of the European Union has reached “a critical mass”. In a speech in Berlin on Thursday Sir John warned that Britain’s frustration was “no game”, adding: “There is a very real risk of separation that could damage the future of the United Kingdom—and Europe as a whole.” Sir John—who was a pro-European during his time as Prime Minister from 1990 and 1997—also said that it was time officials in the European Union recognized real concern in the...
  • Cuba wants to weaken UN resolution on North Korea

    11/12/2014 3:30:16 PM PST · by Olog-hai
    Associated Press ^ | Nov 12, 2014 6:05 PM EST | Cara Anna
    Cuba is challenging a resolution in the U.N. General Assembly on human rights in North Korea, seeking to cut key language about a referral to the International Criminal Court that has Pyongyang nervous. The draft amendment obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press warns that such language sets “a dangerous precedent that could be applied in the future against any developing country.” North Korea has been shaken this year by a groundbreaking U.N. commission of inquiry report that detailed widespread human rights abuses in the impoverished but nuclear-armed country and warned that leader Kim Jong Un could be held accountable. The...
  • Philae probe reaches comet, makes space history

    11/12/2014 8:30:03 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 20 replies
    Fox News ^ | November 12, 2014 | James Rogers
    The European Space Agency’s Philae lander has made space history by successfully reaching the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The landing, which took place at 11.03 AM ET, was accompanied by rapturous scenes at the ESA’s control room in Darmstadt, Germany. Philae is the first probe to land on a comet. …
  • Letter shows ECB threat ahead of Ireland bailout (European Central Bank)

    11/09/2014 10:32:21 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 11/06/14 @ 16:26 | Honor Mahony
    The European Central Bank on Thursday (6 November) formally made public a letter showing that the eurozone bank threatened to pull emergency bank funding if Ireland did not enter a bailout and undertake austerity measures in 2010. The letter, signed by the then-ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet, speaks of “great concern” about the solvency of Irish lenders—which had loaned heavily to the overheated construction sector—and the extent to which the whole eurosystem was exposed. It then says that the ECB would cut off emergency funding to Irish banks unless Ireland meets four conditions, including getting a bailout and undertaking “fiscal consolidation,...
  • Kasparov: Stop Putin now or pay the price later

    11/09/2014 10:20:02 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 21 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 11/09/14 @ 17:03 | Andrew Rettman
    Chess legend Garry Kasparov was once the pride of the Soviet Union. But 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall he lives in exile, accusing Russian leader Vladimir Putin of “strategic failure” and the EU establishment of “ignorance” in its dealings with Moscow. […] “What we are seeing in Russia is a resurgence of imperialism and nationalism in its most dangerous form,” he said, comparing Russia’s actions in Ukraine and Putin’s domestic propaganda to Nazi Germany on the eve of World War II. “Just read what Putin has been saying in his [anti-West] speeches in the past year....
  • EU urges two-state capital in Jerusalem as tensions soar

    11/08/2014 9:02:36 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 25 replies
    AFP via Yahoo News ^ | November 8, 2014 | Hossam Ezzedine with Adel Zaanoun in Gaza City
    Europe’s top diplomat on Saturday called for a Palestinian state sharing Jerusalem as its capital with Israel, hours after the police killing of an Arab-Israeli further fanned tensions. The appeal by the European Union’s Federica Mogherini followed the dawn killing of the man by police in northern Israel, with his family saying he was killed “in cold blood” and a video showing he was shot in the back. “I think Jerusalem can be and should be the capital of two states,” the new EU foreign policy chief told reporters in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. …
  • Gorbachev warns world ‘on brink of new Cold War’

    11/08/2014 7:21:21 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 46 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Nov 8, 2014 8:33 AM EST | Frank Jordans
    Tensions between the major powers have pushed the world closer to a new Cold War, former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev said Saturday. The 83-year-old accused the West, particularly the United States, of giving in to “triumphalism” after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the communist bloc a quarter century ago. The result, he said, could partly be seen in the inability of global powers to prevent or resolve conflicts in Yugoslavia, the Middle East and most recently Ukraine. “The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some are even saying that it’s...
  • ECB ready to pump €1 trillion into euro zone economy

    11/07/2014 3:51:45 PM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 16 replies
    Irish Times ^ | Fri, Nov 7, 2014
    ECB ready to pump €1 trillion into euro zone economy Central bank ramps up efforts to rescue single currency bloc from deflation risk The European Central Bank is ready to inject up to €1 trillion of new liquidity into the euro zone economy as it ramps up efforts to rescue the single currency bloc from the risk of Japanese-style deflation, Mario Draghi confirmed yesterday. The ECB president also said the central bank’s governing council was unanimous in its commitment to use further unconventional tools, including quantitative easing, should economic conditions deteriorate. He added that the central bank had stepped up...
  • Germany will not recognize Palestinian State (while pushing “two-state solution”)

    11/06/2014 10:40:22 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 12 replies
    Middle East Monitor ^ | Saturday, 01 November 2014 14:43
    Assistant Spokeswoman for the German Foreign Ministry Susan Shibley said on Friday that her country would not follow in the footsteps of Sweden and recognize a Palestinian State, Anadolu news agency said. She was speaking at a press conference held in Berlin. She said that her country has been supporting a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the two-state plan via a deal between the Israeli and the Palestinians. …
  • Geert Wilders speaks in the Danish Parliament building

    11/05/2014 8:03:37 AM PST · by Ethan Clive Osgoode · 4 replies
    Youtube ^ | Nov 3 2014 | Geert Wilders
    Great 30-minute anti-islam speech by Geert Wilders, Nov 2, 2012 in Denmark. here
  • EU auditors refuse to sign off more than £100 billion of its own spending

    11/05/2014 1:37:34 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 10:00PM GMT 04 Nov 2014 | Bruno Waterfield and Peter Dominiczak
    The European Union is accused of “breathtaking hypocrisy” for continuing to demand that David Cameron pays a £1.7 billion bill despite its own auditors failing to give a clean bill of health to more than £100 billion of spending by Brussels. According to the annual report of the European Court of Auditors, seen by The Telegraph, £5.5 billion of the EU budget last year was misspent because of controls on spending that were deemed to be only “partially effective” by experts. The audit, published this morning, found that £109 billion out of a total of £117 billion spent by the...
  • Germany may get 1st gov from ex-communist party

    11/04/2014 7:07:13 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Nov 4, 2014 9:40 AM EST
    Germany has moved closer to getting its first state governor from a party with communist roots as the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall approaches. Germany’s main center-left party, the Social Democrats, said Tuesday a party ballot in eastern Thuringia state showed 70 percent favoring negotiations to join a regional government led by Left Party candidate Bodo Ramelow. […] Ramelow himself wasn’t a communist, but his party is descended partly from East Germany’s communist rulers. …
  • Deputy Prime Minister Tomasz Siemoniak in Berlin (discussing EU military)

    11/03/2014 10:52:20 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 14 replies
    On Wednesday, October 29th, the Defense Minister was a honorary guest of Bundeswehr commanding cadre and management conference chaired by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. “A strong democratic Europe needs a strong Germany and strong Poland. The power does not only mean economic power, economic links. It is not only about certainty that our values are right. Power also includes ability of defense, it is also a military power, the power of Bundeswehr and Polish Armed Forces,” said Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense Tomasz Siemoniak in Berlin. […] Moreover, Defense Ministers talked about the situation in Ukraine,...
  • Germany: UK reaching ‘point of no return’ on EU

    11/03/2014 5:48:48 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 02 Nov 2014 13:59 GMT+01:00 | (AFP)
    Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned British Prime Minister David Cameron he is approaching a “point of no return” with the European Union over his immigration proposals, according to a report on Sunday said. News weekly Der Spiegel writes in its latest edition that Merkel told Cameron on the sidelines of an EU summit last month that his moves to limit an influx of EU migrant workers undermined core principles of the bloc. If he continues, Germany would no longer fight to keep Britain in the EU. …
  • National Front pulls in ‘record membership’

    10/31/2014 11:39:06 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    TheLocal.fr ^ | 31 Oct 2014 10:51 GMT+01:00
    After a year of unprecedented electoral success, Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigrant, anti-EU National Front party is attracting more members than ever before in the 42-year-old party’s history, French media has reported. The National Front party has a total of 83,000 members—the highest number in the history of the party, according to the Huffington Post, citing an “internal party source”. […] In contrast, the governing Socialist party, which counted 170,000 members in December 2013, has seen a decline in recent months. The center-right UMP party claims to have around 268,000 members, according to Metronews. And the centrist UDI claims to have...
  • Germany’s main Jewish leader steps down

    10/31/2014 1:47:09 PM PDT · by Olog-hai
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 31, 2014 7:42 AM EDT
    Germany’s main Jewish leader, who in 2010 became the first person born after the Holocaust to take the job, says he’s stepping down. Dieter Graumann said Friday he won’t seek a second term leading the Central Council of Jews in a vote Nov. 30. […] Graumann was among leading critics of a 2012 German court ruling that male infant circumcision amounts to bodily harm. Parliament later approved legislation explicitly permitting the practice. …
  • Whistleblower urges external probe into EU mission in Kosovo

    10/31/2014 12:18:01 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 31.10.14 @ 19:13 | Andrew Rettman
    Maria Bamieh, a British prosecutor at the heart of EULEX corruption revelations, says the only way to restore faith in the EU rule of law mission in Kosovo is by holding an external enquiry. The scandal erupted on Monday (27 October) when Kosovo daily Koha Ditore wrote, citing evidence from leaked EULEX documents, that senior officials colluded with suspects in criminal cases, took bribes to shut down investigations, and quashed internal EULEX probes. …
  • After recognizing Palestine, Swedish legislators spar

    10/31/2014 12:09:06 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 16 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 31/10/2014 - 17:01 | Henriette Jacobsen
    One day after the Swedish government officially recognized the state of Palestine, members of the Parliament, Riksdagen, disagreed on whether this decision was right or “immature”. The leftist government, which took office only a month ago after winning national elections in September, on Thursday (30 October) became the first European country to recognize the state of Palestine. This prompted Israel to recall its ambassador to Sweden to Jerusalem on the same day. The country also threatened that further cuts to the two countries’ diplomatic relations can be expected. Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sweden “needs to understand that relations...
  • Eurozone ‘a problem’ for the world economy

    10/31/2014 10:50:42 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 31/10/2014 — 08:50 | Anne-Claude Martin (translated from French by Samuel White)
    The eurozone is struggling to revive itself, and may slip into recession in the next two years, slowing down the global economic recovery, according to the French Economic Observatory (OFCE). The director of the OFCE’s analysis and forecast department, Xavier Timbeau, presented his economic predictions for 2014-2015 on 29 October, saying “the eurozone is a problem for the global economy”. The expert believes that the eurozone is acting as a brake on the world economy, and will enter into “a phase of low inflation or even deflation in certain countries,” leading to a eurozone recession within two years. The Observatory’s...
  • Israel recalls ambassador to Sweden

    10/30/2014 11:25:29 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 43 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 30, 2014 1:53 PM EDT | Karl Ritter
    Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, and Israel swiftly reacted by withdrawing its ambassador from Stockholm in protest. Coming during increased tensions between Arabs and Jews over Israel’s plans to build 1,000 housing units in east Jerusalem, the move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. …
  • EU holds largest-ever cyber security exercise

    10/30/2014 9:24:39 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 30, 2014 11:27 AM EDT
    A European Union cyber-security agency was in Athens to conduct the largest exercise ever held on the continent to prevent attacks on Europe’s public utilities and communications networks. The director of the European Network and Information Security Agency, Udo Helmbrecht, told The Associated Press that Thursday’s one-day exercise involving 29 countries and 200 agencies dealt with attack scenarios against “critical infrastructure.” …
  • Entire High School Class Under Investigation for Neo-Nazism (Landsberg, Saxony, Germany)

    10/29/2014 9:06:31 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    INN ^ | 10/29/2014, 4:04 PM | Tova Dvorin
    An entire German high school class is being investigated by authorities, the Daily Mail reports Wednesday, after the 29 ninth-graders were found to have been communicating to each other in Nazi slogans on a regular basis. Students in class 9A at the Landsberg Gymnasiums near Leipzig had formed a specialized WhatsApp group for the anti-Semitic comments, and regularly made anti-Jewish slurs and posted photos of themselves making the “Heil Hitler” salute, local media reported. German newspaper Bild even published several photos of the students—with their faces blurred—who had also donned “Hitler mustaches” and called the cultivator of the Holocaust a...
  • Poland in defense shift as security concerns rise

    10/28/2014 4:24:44 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 17 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 27, 2014 9:28 PM EDT | Monika Scislowska
    Poland is planning a major realignment of its military structure because of the conflict in neighboring Ukraine, the country’s defense minister said Monday, a move that could shift thousands of troops to its eastern border. “The geopolitical situation has changed. We have the biggest crisis of security since the Cold War and we must draw conclusions from that,” Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak told The Associated Press. Although Poland joined NATO in 1999, most of its 120,000-member army is based along the country’s western border, as a relic of its former status as a Soviet bloc member. That is going...
  • Vladimir Putin lays out a menacing choice for the West

    10/27/2014 6:38:17 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 59 replies
    Washington Post ^ | October 27, 2014 at 7:22 PM | (Editorial Board)
    Anyone wondering what Western leaders have been up against when they try to reason with Vladi­mir Putin need only read the transcript of the Russian ruler’s three-hour performance at the annual Valdai conference in Sochi on Friday. Mr. Putin was politely questioned by an assortment of Moscow-approved foreign journalists, scholars and former policymakers about Russia’s aggression in Ukraine—and out poured a poisonous mix of lies, conspiracy theories, thinly veiled threats of further aggression and, above all, seething resentment toward the United States. “Having declared itself the winner of the Cold War,” the United States, with the help of “its satellites,”...
  • UKIP sets sights on winning a HUNDRED seats as a third of voters say they could back Farage…

    10/27/2014 7:36:58 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    dailymail (UK) ^ | 09:48 EST, 26 October 2014 | Matt Chorley
    UKIP is planning to fight for 100 seats at the next election, with a third of voters saying they are prepared to back Nigel Farage. Paul Sykes, the party’s biggest donor, revealed he is ready to write a check for £1.5 million to bankroll the ambitious push. As Tory divisions deepen over how to respond to the Euroskeptic threat, a new poll put UKIP on 18 percent, with one in three people willing to back the party if they thought they could win in their local area. […] Defense Secretary Michael Fallon today pleaded with even voters who want to...
  • Israeli official: EU proposal to negotiate West Bank redlines is a death warrant

    10/24/2014 4:25:27 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | 10/23/2014 06:25 | Herb Keinon
    The European Union is asking Jerusalem to weave the rope with which they will come to hang Israel, a senior diplomatic official said Wednesday in response to reports that the EU is interested in negotiating with Israel over its redlines in the West Bank. Haaretz on Wednesday published an internal document drawn up by EU officials in Brussels that outlined the content of a sharp message regarding Israel’s construction beyond the Green Line and its policies in the West Bank that the EU’s Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen has been instructed to deliver at the “highest possible level” in the...
  • UK rejects ‘appalling’ EU demand for more money

    10/24/2014 9:08:38 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 24, 2014 12:01 PM EDT | Raf Casert and Mike Corder
    British Prime Minister David Cameron insisted Friday he would not pay a European Union bill for an additional €2.1 billion ($2.65 billion) contribution to the EU coffers at a time of increasing pressure at home for the country to leave the bloc. Thumping his fist in frustration, Cameron said “people should be in no doubt: as an important contributor to this organization, we are not suddenly going to get out our checkbook and write a check for €2 billion. It is not happening.” Cameron said asking Britain for a top-up of some 20 percent in its contributions on short notice...
  • Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

    10/24/2014 7:46:44 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 14 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 24 Oct 2014 11:19 GMT+02:00
    Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. It will receive the rebate on its contributions to the European Union on December 1st, while Britain will have to pay €2.1 billion on the same day. “The British economy is growing much faster than the others, and the logic is the same as with tax: if someone earns more, they pay more tax,” EC spokesman Patrizio Fiorilli told AFP. …
  • Obama taps major fundraiser for Sweden ambassador

    10/23/2014 4:43:09 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Oct 23, 2014 7:24 PM EDT
    President Barack Obama is nominating a major fundraiser for his presidential campaign to be the next U.S. ambassador to Sweden. The White House says Azita Raji is Obama’s pick for the job. She’s a former investment banker who served as national vice-chair of finance for Obama’s 2012 campaign. She helped raise more than $500,000 for Obama’s campaign as a “bundler” in 2012. …